Since Monday, around 120 high school football players from Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba have been taking part in the Huskies’ summer football camp. The camp gives players the opportunity to hone their technique and work on their conditioning in preparation for their upcoming season. There are morning and afternoon practices on Monday through Thursday, and conditioning sessions which take place on 3 of the evenings. This all leads up to a scrimmage on Friday morning, in which the players have been broken up into two separate teams. “This has been a good camp,” commented Huskies’ head coach, Brian Towriss. “They’ve all worked really hard, and there have only been a couple of minor injuries. The thing that has particularly impressed me is how friendly and respectful the whole group has been.” Coach Towriss then pointed to a group of linemen who were checking up on a player who was having his shoulder iced: “This is what I mean – they have been such good kids.”
Despite the large number of camp attendees, the players are receiving lots of group and individual instruction. This is because not only is the Huskie coaching staff sharing their expertise, but several current Huskie players are serving as coaches this week as well. The camp participants have been made to feel very comfortable, as evidenced by their eagerness to approach any of their position coaches to ask a question, or just chat.
One of the Huskie players who is serving as a coach is starting tailback Dexter Janke. “This has been fun,” remarked Janke. “It’s different to be on the other side of the coach’s whistle. I enjoy helping these kids out. There are some talented players who could be teammates of mine in the future.” Interestingly, Dexter’s younger brother, Jacob, is taking part in the camp. “He’s doing fairly well,” Dexter said of his brother. “This is really his first experience as a slotback as he is a converted running back.”
“It’s been a good experience, with lots of competition out here,” is what Jacob Janke told Huskie Outsider following Thursday’s afternoon practice. “I like being able to change things up and have the chance to work with new players and different quarterbacks.” As his brother Dexter mentioned, this camp is giving Jacob the opportunity to try a new position. “I wanted to switch things up and try to make my game more complete.” It should be noted that the camp is not just for upcoming high school seniors, as Jacob is entering the 10th grade at Edmonton’s Harry Ainlay Collegiate. “It’s been really good to camp with guys who are older than me – it will help prepare me for my high school team’s camp.”
Friday morning’s scrimmage will, for many, be the highlight of the camp. It may also be the highlight for current Huskies Luke Thiel and Joel Seutter, who will be serving as head coaches for the two teams. “Tomorrow will be exciting. We’re going to fly around and have fun.” Thiel jokingly referred to the schematic advantage that his team should enjoy. “Being a defensive back, I should expect to understand the game a little more than a DLineman like Joel! It should be a great matchup.”
Thiel’s opposing coach also spoke about the camp and upcoming scrimmage. “It’s been fun to see the game from a different perspective and pass on some knowledge to these young men. They’ve been doing very well and have improved since the beginning of camp. I think they are all having fun.” Joel was asked what we can expect from the scrimmage. “It’s going to be good. There’s going to be a few trick plays here and there. It’s going to be hard fought, and my team hopes to win.”
Huskie fans shouldn’t be surprised if some of the camp participants turn out to be future members of the Huskies. The Huskie football program stresses the need for character and work ethic to go along with talent, and these traits have been on display, in abundance, this week.